MARQUETTE, Mich. – What a difference a week makes for the Northern Michigan University men’s basketball team. A week ago the Wildcats played at Grand Valley State and lost by a count of 87-49.
Move forward seven days and a change of venue to the Berry Events Center. The ‘Cats and the Lakers tangled for the second time in a week and the home team held the lead the majority of the game. But in the end GVSU pulled out a 63-52 win.
The first seven plus minutes of the game saw NMU take a 10-point lead at 17-7 thanks to a lay-up by Will Washington. With NMU holding onto a 20-15 lead the ‘Cats used a 6-3 run on three-pointers by Chris Warner and Jerard Ajami to extend the lead to 26-18 with less than four minutes left in the half. Washington made a jumper and then Sebastien Salois banked in a three-pointer at the buzzer for the half time score of 31-23.
The second 20 minutes was a bit of a different story. For almost 17 minutes of the half the ‘Cats held the lead. NMU held a 12-point lead three times in the half. The third time was when Steve Kaiser hit a three-pointer with 11:38 left in regulation.
The ‘Cats went without a score the final 8:55 of the game. NMU held a four-point lead at 52-48 with under seven minutes left in the game. GVSU’s Kyle Carhart converted a three-point play with five plus minutes left in the game to cut the lead to 52-51. GVSU took a 53-52 lead with a little more than three minutes left in the game. The Lakers rattled off 10 points in a row for the final margin.
Washington and Kaiser led the ‘Cats with 10 points each. Kaiser came off the bench for his points. Ricky Volcy was held to five points for the game, but added a team-high seven rebounds and five assists. Mike Hall from GVSU led all scorers with 18 points.
NMU was 20-48 from the floor for 41.7 percent. The ‘Cats only converted nine of its 29 three-point attempts for 31 percent. From the charity stripe the ‘Cats were 3-8 (37.5 percent). GVSU held an eight-rebound advantage over NMU (32-24).
NMU will spend the next four games on the road. First up is a swing through the GLIAC South as the ‘Cats are at Hillsdale on Thursday (Jan. 18) and Wayne State on Saturday (Jan. 20).
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Sports Information Director